White Sox-Cubs drama: Alejandro De Aza thinks Manny Corpas hit him on purpose

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White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza and Cubs reliever Manny Corpas are off-field friends, but that didn’t stop them from creating some drama in the Chicago interleague series yesterday.

With the White Sox up 7-0 in the eighth inning Corpas came into the game and plunked De Aza on the leg with his first pitch, presumably because Alex Rios attempted a stolen base up 6-0 in the previous inning. Or something.

Whatever the case, De Aza said afterward that he thinks it was intentional:

I don’t know, but the way he threw that ball, I think it was on purpose. I did face him before. Actually, me and that pitcher, we’re cool, we’re friends. I’ve known him for a long time. I think they just told him to hit the first guy.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum predictably downplayed the topic when asked, saying: “I don’t know. He hit him. It happens sometimes.”

Yes, “sometimes” like when a manager tells a pitcher to hit a batter in a blowout.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.